Twitter removes FLoC support in another blow to Google

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Twitter has decided to remove support for Google's Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC (opens in new tab)) from its social network after only recently adding the new tracking technology to its platform.

Just last month, security researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered that Twitter (opens in new tab) was collecting data for FLoC by examining the source code of its website.

Now though, it appears that the social network has removed support for FLoC from its website as the new tracking technology is facing growing criticism online.

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In a recent tweet (opens in new tab), Wong explained that “Twitter has removed the code related to collecting FLoC from users as of now”. This could change in the future especially as Google is now in the process of rewriting FLoC (opens in new tab) since it has decided to not extend the tracking technology's trial further.

Opting out of FLoC

For those unfamiliar, FLoC is a tracking program which aims to replace third-party cookies (opens in new tab) by using machine learning algorithms to place people into groups based on their browsing habits and data from these groups is then shared with advertisers. 

While this is an improvement from the way in which third-party cookies have traditionally been used to track users on an individual basis, a growing number of businesses have decided to opt out of FLoC or disable the technology all together.

So far Brave (opens in new tab), Vivaldi (opens in new tab), Microsoft (opens in new tab), GitHub (opens in new tab), WordPress (opens in new tab), DuckDuckGo (opens in new tab), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (opens in new tab) and others have voiced their opposition to FLoC which could be one of the reasons Google did not extend its trial period.

However, Google isn't done with FLoC just yet and the company plans to bring its improved tracking technology to browsers (opens in new tab) once again by the end of next year.

Via MSPoweruser (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.